Fake News: Police Did NOT Uncover Illegal Raccoon Fighting Ring In North Bay, Canada

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Police Did NOT Uncover Illegal Raccoon Fighting Ring In North Bay, Canada

Did police in North Bay, Ontario, Canada uncover an illegal raccoon fighting ring? No, that's not true: a Canadian satire website pretending to be a local news site made up the story. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by The North Bay Bay News (notice the double "Bay") on November 20, 2018 titled "Police uncover illegal raccoon fighting ring - The North Bay Bay News" (archived here) which opened:

NORTH BAY -- The North Bay Police, in cooperation with Ministry of Natural Resources, have busted an illegal raccoon fighting ring in North Bay. "Yes, I can confirm that the NBPS have disrupted an extensive raccoon fighting league," announced North Bay Police Sergeant Jeanette Lawrence Monday morning. "I would like to thank the MNR for their help, along with those who came forward to share information with us." The raccoon fighting ring, which called itself "Coon Clashes," hosted anywhere from 3 to 10 raccoon fights a week, says Lawrence.

Users on social media only saw this title and thumbnail so they might have confused it for a real news source:

Police uncover illegal raccoon fighting ring - The North Bay Bay News

However The North Bay Bay News is a satirical website from Canada which has been operating since 2017. It has a tagline that says "The North Bay news source you can blindly trust" but at the bottom of each page there is a disclaimer that reads:

Disclaimer: The North Bay Bay is a news satire and parody website. All articles are fictitious. So don't take them too seriously, be nice to others, and eat your vegetables, ok?

So you probably shouldn't actually trust anything they write. Eating your vegetables is probably good advice though.

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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